I often find myself thinking back to the days when Dylan and Lexie were younger. When it was just them. I was a young mom who had two kids in two years. While all of my friends were in college or starting careers, I was thrown into a new lifestyle: raising babies.
I often felt very much alone, but at the same time, incredibly blessed. I remember looking at them and thinking about how Kindergarten was so far away. But I blinked, and it was time. At that point, the tween/teen years seemed a lifetime away. They were still babies. We had time.
No falser words have ever been spoken! Time passed by so rapidly, and here we are. Dylan is less than a year away from becoming a teenager, and in less than a month, Lexie will hit double digits. To put it in a brutally real perspective, in 6 short years, Dylan will be heading off to college, and Lexie will follow 2 years later. Just thinking about it breaks my heart.
Welcome to the tween years.
I'm not prepared whatsoever, and I so often wish back the days when they were so little and innocent. It was much simpler then. Perhaps it's selfish of me, but these tween years are a whole new ballgame and it's a game that I'm losing! (Or maybe I'm just losing my mind?)
My loving, innocent children were replaced by mini adults who roll their eyes at me, mumble words under their breath, stomp out of rooms, and have strong opinions about everything. Five seconds later, they tell me how much they love me. WHAT is going on?
Dylan has a girlfriend and Lexie informed me that a portion of her HipHop dance for the recital involves twerking. Girlfriends? Twerking? I don't like this new reality and I feel lost. Thanks to activities and an active social life, I barely see Dylan these days. Lexie is busy, too, but she's more of a homebody. I MISS my kids. Take us back to when they were toddlers, PLEASE!
Perhaps the most difficult thing about the tween years is that they no longer believe in the magic of childhood. Oh, we try, but they know too much now. They are great, smart, loving kids but the selfish side of me just wants them to stay little. They are forced to grow up too quickly these days. Outside influence is now the thing we battle against the most.
We once worried about scraped knees, hurt feelings and bullies on the playground. Now there are so many unseen dangers that we have to think about. Drugs, alcohol, peer pressure, child predators, internet safety, the birds and the bees...the list goes on and on, and the worries build up in my mind. Life was so much easier when they were younger!
It's important to let them live and learn, because that's how they are going to become functioning adults. It's just as important to be diligent about teaching them what is appropriate and what is expected of them. As parents, it's our job to shield them from the dangers of the world while they are young and to teach them how to be safe.
One of our biggest struggles right now is outside influence. So many of their peers have more freedom to do whatever they want, but that's not how we work. Yes, they get a little bit of freedom and are encouraged to make their own choices, but above all, we are a family unit, and we work together. There are just some things that they are not allowed to do, not allowed to wear and not allowed to have. If that makes us mean parents, so be it. They will understand one day.
Thankfully, one thing we don't have to worry too much about is what they are watching on TV! We rely on Netflix each and every day.WE control what they watch, and thanks to the recently watched feature and the different profiles, we can see exactly what they are watching. THAT is a parenting win!
Now that they are tweens, a lot of shows that they once loved are too "babyish" for them. It was definitely something to get used to, but we found plenty of shows on Netflix that have a grown up feel, but are appropriate for their age.
These are the shows that get Dylan and Lexie's approval (mom and dad's, too):
- Fuller House
- Once Upon a Time
- Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events
- Good Luck Charlie
Here are some great ideas of what to watch now on Netflix:
Our tweens and littles aren't the only ones who watch Netflix! Grant and I have a "Netflix Date Night" four or five times a week. We tuck the kids into bed and enjoy an hour or two of our favorite shows.
This month was all about British Netflix Originals. We watched, and HIGHLY recommend, Lovesick, Peaky Blinders and The Crown. Lovesick is a sweet comedy that's a quick and easy watch. Peaky Blinders and The Crown are amazing! The plot and the acting is superb in both. They are definitely two of our new favorites!
What are YOU watching on Netflix right now?
DISCLOSURE: I am a member of the Netflix #StreamTeam. I receive service and products in exchange for monthly posts. All opinions are 100% my own.